17 VICTIMS OF BRITISH JUSTICE …….
Last month PATRICK MAGUIRE was released from an English jail after serving 10 years for a ‘terrorist’ crime he insists he did not commit . A wide range of prominent people , from Cardinal O’Fiaich to Sir John Biggs-Davison , believe him .
DAVID McKITTRICK , London Editor of ‘The Irish Times’ newspaper , re-examines the evidence .
From ‘Fortnight’ magazine , May 1984 .
Closer examination of the facts surrounding the Guildford and Woolwich bombings raised enough doubts to lead even Sir John Biggs-Davidson , a ‘pillar of the Establishment’ who does not lightly criticise the courts , to conclude that a miscarraige of justice took place .
Gerry Conlon and Paul Hill , who allegedly confessed to the Guildford and Woolwich bombings and implicated Conlon’s Auntie Annie , were later jailed for sentences which stand in the ‘Guinness Book Of Records’ as the longest ever handed down in Britain – natural life and thirty-five years , respectively .
Yet doubt was cast on this conviction too when four admitted IRA men , on trial for other bombings and killings , said they had bombed Guildford and Woolwich too . This was clearly un-welcome news to the authorities , for when the IRA men were tried they were simply not charged with the Guildford and Woolwich killings .
Why should first Gerry Conlon and then Paul Hill have implicated Annie Maguire ? Patrick Maguire , just out of prison , said last month that he had met both men in jail , and that they told him they would have named anybody to stop the police beating them . The police were certainly looking for a woman bomber at that stage , and may have been pressing for the name of a woman . The Maguire family advance the theory that Gerry Conlon may have named Annie Maguire in the belief that nobody could possibly believe she was a bombmaker …….
THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO …….
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein’s DANNY MORRISON on the party’s recent successes and failures .
From ‘ MAGILL ‘ magazine , September 1984.
Danny Morrison : ” Sinn Fein sympathises with the difficulties that the IRA has , and that will always be our position . We’re painted as extremists for saying that , but there’s one thing about republicans ; republicans speak their minds . Free State politicians won’t speak their minds . They won’t say , for example , that they don’t want a united Ireland . They pretend that they want it . Why don’t they get up and say – ” We don’t want a united Ireland , right , because I don’t want to lose my job , I don’t want to lose my power and prestige . ” All the parties in the 26 counties have a vested interest in the Free State continuing to exist forever .
The problem which the Dublin government has , which the SDLP has , is that they can’t guarantee that their approach is going to deliver an end to second-class citizenship and civil rights for the nationalists in the North . Because the achievement of civil rights is directly related to the achievement of national rights . The way to get our civil rights is to get our national rights , which means that Britain has to go , the loyalist veto has to be ended . ”
‘MAGILL’ Magazine : ” And the loyalists ? “
Danny Morrison : ” The people who are presently tied to loyalism can become whatever political power they want in a new Ireland , nobody wants to drive them out . We don’t want civil war , we don’t want to create a ‘Protestant Republican Army’ , we have no interest in any of that ……. ”
THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE ……. .
On 11 July 1986 , Stephen Moore , from Clones in County Monaghan , accepted £25,000 plus costs to settle an action out of court .
He had sued ‘Ireland’ and the Attorney General for injuries he had received in garda custody in Monaghan Garda Station in March 1983 .
In that same year , John Milne received £51,900 for injuries sustained at the hands of two named gardai in that same garda station . He was also awarded costs .
Despite the fact that more than £75,000 has been paid out as a result of garda activity in Monaghan Garda Station , no garda has been charged with a criminal offence . In fact , some of the gardai who were accused have been promoted .
In his own words , Fintan MacPhillips , a friend of Stephen Moore , describes what happened him in garda custody –
” I was made to sit down and stand up repeatedly . I was put into a corner and my arm was twisted behind my back . A uniformed garda put his head around the door and it stopped for a while . Between 8.30 and 9 my father and my brother , Leo , came in . I told them they were beating me and said to get a doctor . I was brought back up to the room and got a similar going over again .
Plunkett Taaffe , my solicitor , came in and I told him what had happened . He seemed furious . I made a statement to the effect that I did not want to make a statement now or in the near future . I was brought back to the same room and there was a new fellow there . The first thing he did was to knee me in the groin . He did it again a short time later . Of the three Detectives , one did’nt beat me . My brother and father came back . They said that the doctors could’nt come to see me .
I was photographed on Sunday . My flat in Dublin was also raided . I talked to Plunkett Taaffe on Sunday as well . I was released at 12 noon on Monday . I went to Taaffe and he told me that in the absence of any medical evidence , there was nothing I could do . That it was one word against the other . I was beaten on the Saturday night . I was 21 at the time and working in Dublin . I was arrested once before , two years previously . I was held for four hours . The gardai took all my clothes (the second time) and I got clothes from home . They took books from my flat in Dublin . ” …….